Monthly Report – February 2013
Posted by AJ
Once again, the monthly report has been severely delayed, so I offer my apologies once again. Between a huge review backlog and other endeavours, it’s become rather tough to find time for the report writing. But anyway, here it is.
Overall, I think the month turned out to be decent enough. I’m making steady progress on several fronts, and having a damn good time of it, which is always good in the end! Although, all things considered, I’ve been thinking that I devote too much time to reviewing and should tone it down. Not sure about that! I definitely need to devote more time to my writing, and also tone down on my TV watching. Funny how “entertainment” can impose on life.
So, this is how the writing and reading went down last month, and you can find the January report here.
2013 Writing Challenge
1. Dharamayoddha: Warrior of Faith
*drum roll* The first pass edits on this are done! There was a fair bit of rewriting involved for this, not the least of which was fixing my tenses and what not. It appears that I randomly kept changing tenses as I wrote the novella, and when editing, it was a nightmare to fix all of this and keep it all consistent. The same goes for which point of view I use, first person or third person. The novella is meant to be first person, and yet, I often switched briefly to third person, for no reason at all. *headdesk*
But yes, I did the first pass edits on it, getting the basic structure down and making sure that the basic story was good. I fixed a few plot holes too, but these need to be refined. As regards March, I fully expect to complete the second pass edits for this month and also send it out to some beta-readers for their feedback.
And here’s a tip: always value your beta-readers, because they will often, with alarming regularity, point out your mistakes and will only help improve your work. And I need to get better at providing feedback myself. I’ve botched things in the past by not providing on-time feedback, and I feel really bad about it.
2. Dharamasankat: Crisis of Faith
Depending on how the novella works out, I might be able to get a start on the short story, but no hard deals as yet. I remain hopeful about this!
3. Ragnarok Chronicles #1: Cloak of Secrecy
As I mentioned in my Jan Report, February was for working on the novella, and that’s what I did. Although, I do have to say that I went over what I had for this, picking out some rooms for improvement and plot holes. No actual edits, just marking stuff out for editing. Not too bad really, except when my two main characters find themselves in a spot of trouble and there is just way too much dialogue. That was painful to read! Somewhat.
4. Black Library
Again, no news of any windows coming up, and no word on the last year’s window either. Quite disheartening.
5. Sons of Corax FanFic
No progress made on this as yet. To be honest, I’m too busy with everything else to give this any thought.
6. The Blog
My “Names: A New Pespective” guest post series had lots of exciting authors drop by for a quick word on the topic of names – Aliette de Bodard, Zachary Jernigan, Josh Reynolds, Marsheila Rockwell, Gav Thorpe, Matt Forbeck, Betsy Dornbusch, and William C. Deitz – for one thing. It was all the more exciting for the fact that I’d wanted quite a few of these authors on the blog, and I finally got the chance to do that! Cue fanboyism. I’ve had the opportunity to have read most of these authors, and I’ve found their work to be quite good. To Betsy: I’ll be sure to get to your novel soon!
I also started my second reading poll – The Comics Reading Poll – in the middle of the month, to allow enough time for people to vote and get a really good sampling of opinions. Which did happen, but far, far beyond my expectations. As you can see, the polling got almost twice asmany votes as the february poll, and I’m really thankful to everyone who contributed to it, in all the myriad ways that they did. You guys rock! The next reading poll will be posted in mid-April as I’m working through a ton of eARCs/ARCs at the moment, and really need some time to bring my towering Mount Toberead down significantly.
To see which graphic novels/comics were ultimately picked, you can check out the list here.
Improvements to the blog continue, and I added a few more sub-pages to the Reading List page, which track the progress of my specific reading challenges for the year – 51 for 2013 and 25 in 2013. I’ve also updated the statistics on my Reviews page, and it appears that I’m only 5 more reviews away from an even 200! That’s mind-blowing!
One more thing. It appears that I jumped the gun, and celebrated my 2-year blog anniversary one month early. *more headdesk* I didn’t realise my mistake until well into the second half of that week, and I felt like a downright fool for it. I guess the impending date was too much on my mind and I just conflated the two. Now I have to do TWO 2-year anniversary weeks. Hey, that’s just fine and dandy with me!
7. The Founding Fields
February wasn’t too intensive a month where TFF is concerned, although I wrote fewer reviews and article than the month previous. Still, I had a blast doing almost all of it, and I’m really happy where this gig is going. As it so happens, as of right now, I’m almost caught up with my backlog of reviews, with only 2 reviews that need be done in the next two days, which is good. But I’m behind on the articles – cover art posts, upcoming novels/comics, and some general comics industry news.
As with writing, the “discipline” for this comes from having a regular schedule of posting, and in the main, I’m satisfied with how things are going.
In addition to the whole reviewing angle, I also started a short series of guest posts which featuring book bloggers where I invite them to talk about the demands of reviewing. Two of the posts went up last month, mine and my friend Mieneke’s, and there are quite a few that are coming up. So stay tuned for more of that!
Nine reviews, six articles and and an editorial. Not bad, not bad at all!
8. 24 FPS, or, Just Beyond Infinity
I actually managed to get a movie review up! A Good Day To Die Hard. It was a decent enough movie, but still quite disappointing. I frankly expected it to much better. Saw some good movies as well, which I haven’t gotten around to as yet – Special 26, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, both of which I really enjoyed. Will try and get around to reviewing them soon.
Once I got through the editing for the novella, I actually didn’t do too much, but I did start on another writing project (god, the ideas don’t stop!). And I think this one has a lot of potential actually. This project is a mash-up of Project: Starfighter from last year, which remains incomplete since the publisher who was accepting submissions for this one bailed out on it without any news and because I hit a rough patch on it and couldn’t work out the kinks, and a computer game RPG concept I worked on to death back in college, working out the story and game mechanics and what not. It felt really good to write this, and I’m quite excited with how it started. More on this soon I hope!
- Cloak of Secrecy – 0 words
- Dharamayoddha – ~2,500 words
- Starfighter/Shadowblade Mash-up – 2,035 words
- Untitled Fantasy Project – 0 words
- Founding Fields
- Reviews – 14,477 words
- Articles – 5,243 words
- Blog – 4,773 words
- JBE – 749 words
Total: 29,777 words, which is significantly dropped down from lat month’s writing, by almost a third! Really need to step up on all the fronts, and put out more content.
Yearly total: 74,484 words, out of a total target of 450,000 words. Right now, there is a slight chance that I might not be able to make my goal, so definitely, definitely need to write more in general and not watch as much TV!
2013 Reading Challenge
Some progress on my “mini” reading challenges:
- Top 25 Series I Want To Read In 2013 – Made some great progress on this front, having read Lays of Anuskaya #1: The Winds of Khalakovo by Bradley P. Beaulieu, Demon Cycle #1: The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett, and The Subterrene War #1: Germline by T. C. McCarthy. The challenge counter now reads 4/25, which I think is pretty good, and I’m almost on target. Do need to step it up a little bit! The books on the reading list for this month are — Spiritwalker #1: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott and Theirs Not To Reason Why #1: A Soldier’s Duty by Jean Johnson. Fun times ahead!
- Most Anticipated Releases of 2013 – I’m racing to catch up to this. Read four books on the list last month — Cora Oglesby #2: She Returns From War by Lee Collins, Black Feathers by Joseph D’Lacey, Gotrek & Felix: Road of Skulls by Josh Reynolds, and No Return by Zachary Jernigan. In a rare moment of surprise, all these books were awesome, and it so happens that I already have reviews for all four up on The Founding Fields. You can check out the links from my “Book Reviews” page. Will be reading five more books from this list this month, and have already read one, Split Worlds #1: Between Two Thorns by Emma Newman, which has also been reviewed already!
Thankfully, no duds last month, just one book in particular that was a disappointment. C’est la vie. Not all books can be good!
All in all, the meta-challenge counter was 75/250 by midnight February 28th. Lots of variety in the reading last month, and hoping to continue the good progress this month as well!
As ever, you can follow the progress on my reading for the year here.
While picking my top novels of the month was only too easy, picking my top comics was a whole lot harder. Yet, choices were made, and these are my top recommendations from last month’s reading list (with linked reviews).
Top 3 [Comics]: Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Ghost Prison by Hayden Blackman, The Amazing Spider-Man #650 by Dan Slott, and New 52: Batgirl 2012 Annual by Gail Simone.
Honourable Mention [Comics]: New 52: Justice League of America #1 by Geoff Johns, Star Wars #2 by Brian Wood, and New 52: Justice League #17 by Geoff Johns.
You can find the full list here.
Some new acquisitions –
- Warhammer Heroes: Van Horstmann by Ben Counter – This novel is on my most anticipated list and I bought it because I no longer received advance copies from Black Library due to some rather idiotic knee-jerk reactions from their marketing. At the moment I have only the eBook, but might buy the print version soon.
- Horus Heresy #18: Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe – I read the eBook of this last year, but got the print version just now actually. It was going for rather cheap at the bookstore and I could not resist at all!
- Green Lantern: Rebirth by Geoff Johns – This graphic novel marks the start of Geoff Johns’ run on the character and having read it already, I can say that this was an absolute blast. Review soon!
- Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman? by Allan Heinberg – This was one of the graphic novels that was voted for in the reading poll (and was top place!). Looking forward to reading this. Anything has to be better than the disaster that Brian Azzarello’s current arc, so far a 20-issue insane continuous story arc which is becoming worse with each issue.
Posted on March 10, 2013, in 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Writing Challenge, 24FPS, Book Reviews, Comics News, Comics Reviews, Debut Authors Guest Series, General, Guest Posts, Monthly Reports, NaNoWriMo, Original Work, The Founding Fields. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.